Saturday, September 27, 2008

Irritable Blog Syndrome

PAUL NEWMAN, 1925-2008
We lost another big name yesterday with the death of Hollywood legend Paul Newman.  The tabloids have been claiming for weeks that Newman was in ill health with cancer for quite some time, and for once they were evidently right.  I never much cared for his salad dressing, but the man was a damn fine actor, as evidenced by his ten Oscar nominations for Best Actor in films like The Sting, Cool Hand Luke, The Verdict, Road To Perdition and Color Of Money, the latter of which he won the Oscar for.  I may be a tad biased here, but beyond all those flicks, I think his finest performance was his portrayal of beleaguered and grizzled minor league hockey player/coach Reggie Dunlop in 1977's Slap Shot.  Damn funny movie, even if you don't like hockey.

Paul Newman was also very much into auto racing, and even raced competitively himself well into his '70s.  Even more impressive, he was married to the same woman for 50 years, Joanne Woodward, a Hollywood actress herself, no less.  Most celebrity marriages don't even last 50 days anymore, let alone 50 years.  R.I.P., Reggie... "Old time hockey! Eddie Shore!"

"Sometimes pushing all the buttons/sometimes pulling out the plug..."

Man, Neil Peart of Rush was spot-on with that 1985 lyric...

Why has this whole economy thing come to all this bailout crappola?  It'd be one thing if one single cataclysmic event like 9/11, some big natural mega-disaster or invasion by the Russians or something was causing our current economic crisis, but good moogly-woogly, we're imploding on our own, thanks to a bunch of greedy Wall St. douches.  And why the fuck didn't we see this coming so we could head it off at the pass?  OR, is this whole thing just more fear-mongering on the part of the Bush Administration—one more for the road, eh Dubya?  I love how his own Republican cronies actually turned on him this week when the bailout thing was almost a done-deal.  It would be easy to blame Dubya for all this mess, and some of it is indeed his fault, but not all of it.  But, it did happen on his watch, and it seems like a fitting bookend to this absolute debacle and joke of a Presidential administration.

A friend of mine sent this to me via e-mail. Sounds logical enough to me...

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.  Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U. S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child.  So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up.  So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.  My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.  Of course, it would NOT be tax free.  So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.  Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.  That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.  But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.  A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?  Pay off your mortgagehousing crisis solved.  Repay college loanswhat a great boost to new grads.  Put away money for collegeit'll be there.  Save in a bankcreate money to lend to entrepreneurs.  Buy a new carcreate jobs.  Invest in the marketcapital drives growth.  Pay for your parent's medical insurancehealth care improves.  Enable deadbeat Dads to come clean or else.

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back.  And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.  If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( vote buy ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.  If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult US Citizen 18+!

As for AIG, liquidate it.  Sell off its parts.  Let American General go back to being American General.  Sell off the real estate.  Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.  Here's my rationale.  We deserve it and AIG doesn't.  Sure it's a crazy idea that can never work.  But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!  How do you spell Economic Boom?  I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion WeDeserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC.  And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.  Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

And let me add—with everyone getting that kind of moolah, crime would probably decrease dramatically since there'd be less incentive to steal stuff.  The travel industry would be booming again because people could afford to go places more often.  Charities would also greatly benefit.  Now if we could do that with $85 billion, can you imagine what we could do with that $700 billion they're trying to bail the economy out with this weekend?  Shit, I could almost retire on that much money...

I watched the entire Presidential debate last night between McCain and Obama, and I gave a very slight edge to Obama overall.  Barack didn't exactly blow me away, but Big John did precious little win me over, especially when he constantly interrupted Obama as he spoke.

Check out our lowly Kansas City Royals this weekend, as they try to throw a wrench into the Minnesota Twins playoff plans.  Our suddenly-mighty Cornholios have been on a hot streak the last couple weeks, and won their 75th game today—a mark I wouldn't have bet the farm that they would reach about this time a month ago, given how awful the Royals played in August.  Luckily for the Twins, the White Sox have lost five in a row and still trail Minnesota by 1/2 a game.  Chicago has a game in hand on Minnesota, however, and might have to play Detroit on Monday to make-up for an earlier rainout.  Getting back to the Royals, if you take away the months of May and August, this would've been a pretty decent season, overall.  If they could just add a couple more decent bats to their lineup, they could be the Tampa Bay Rays of '09.

...without even playing!  That appears to be the scenario for the U. of Mizzou, whose foosball team is idle this week.  But, thanks to #1 USC losing on Thursday at Oregon State (yay, Beavers!), #3 Georgia losing to Alabama in their own house tonight and #4 Florida losing by one point today at the hands of Ole Miss in their own house, #6 Missouri is likely to move up in the rankings just in time for their showdown in Lincoln next Saturday against Nebraska.  Plenty of intrigue already, and we're only five weeks into the season...

While I'm on college football, I heard something on the radio one morning this week that made me throw up in my mouth.  It was a commercial for that "Free" Credit bullshit featuring none other than legendary sportscaster/college football icon Keith Jackson.  Keith, buddy, your Gatorade spots were wonderful, but please tell me you aren't THAT hard-up for cash to have to resort to doing ads for this bogus outfit?  I think I'd just as soon hear you do endorsements for tampons or douches...

This little nugget on the KissAsylum website made me chuckle today.  Seems there is now a Vinnie Vincent tribute CD entitled Kiss My Ankh!  It features remakes of Vincenzo's Kiss classics (all half-a-dozen of them) and some other stuff he wrote, all performed by a bunch of nobodies.  A Vinnie Vincent tribute CD is the equivalent of E! Entertainment doing a "True Hollywood Stories" segment on Jared from Subway or maybe that comedian who did the "You can call me Ray, and you can call me Jay...but ya doesn't have to call me Johnson" shtick!

For no particular reason, I stumbled across the name of R&B singer CeCe Peniston today and quickly noticed that you can't spell Peniston without 'penis'!  I believe Peniston is Latin for "heavy dick"...

I meant to post this pic a while back and forgot about it.  This would be one of Rock music's more famous addresses, 2400 Fulton Street in San Francisco, better known as the Jefferson Airplane hangar, beginning in 1968.  The band lived, rehearsed and conducted business there, and Grace Slick often served as your friendly drug stewardess (get it, Airplane? Stewardess?) for a time.  I hoofed it around the adjoining neighborhood, which is just up the hill from Golden Gate Park, and it looked like a fine place for an LSD trip.  Timothy Leary's dead...

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